In recent months, a slew of studies has been published in academic journals, some defending the original interpretation of the so-called Lachish gate shrine and some challenging it.I am shocked, shocked, to hear that archeologists have different interpretations of an excavation site. The next thing you know, someone will claim that biblical scholars disagree about something.
For some scholars, the site was indeed a small temple but it was never desecrated because the enigmatic perforated stone block found there was not a toilet seat. Other experts entirely dismiss the idea that the gatehouse room was used as a shrine and suggest its function was entirely secular, perhaps connected to water management.
Behind this somewhat technical dispute lies the much broader debate on how much of the Bible is a true story and whether archaeologists in Israel are sometimes too keen to interpret their finds as evidence of the holy text’s historicity.
I noted the discovery of the desecration toilet, or whatever it is, in 2016. For other posts on ancient toilets, see here and links.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.